Edinburgh being such a treasure trove of interesting stories, we can’t possibly fit everything into our tours, can we? On our blog, architecture students and teachers love talking about all things architecture – we share Edinburgh’s architectural history research, and suggest fun architectural days out. Here, we also announce our news and invite you to events we are excited about.
Brutalism is an easy movement to hate on aesthetic grounds. Its bare concrete buildings can stand out in a uniform sandstone city like Edinburgh. The lack of decoration on its block-like structure has fallen out of fashion since the 1970s. Prince Charles even famously qualified a brutalist proposal as a “monstrous carbuncle”. But in order to fully appreciate and understand the style, it is important to understand the moral and historical implication of such movement. Edinburgh has a great legacy of brutalist architecture, offering us a wide range of examples, such as social housing blocks, university buildings or office constructions.
Standardisation was used as a tool against the threat of fire. However, this method was not completely successful in stopping fires in the old town. Disastrous fires in Edinburgh prompted large scale urban planning projects in the Old Town, which allowed for wider, cleaner, uniform streets.
In Part 2 of the series I look at how, after centuries of frequent and repetitive burnings, the city of
Edinburgh started to use its architecture to prevent and reduce fires. Control through laws and regulations was used as a means of prevention.
For those architecture lovers who venture outside of Edinburgh, Fife coastal route offers an exciting day out, checking off a potent blend of historical and cutting edge contemporary “starchitecture”.